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This late 15th-century statue of Saint John the Baptist from Southern Germany came to the museum of the Cathedral of Kalocsa in 1997. It was brought from the endangered church of the castle of Tompa, near to the Serbian border. The church was built in 1905 by Baron Béla Redl – unrelated to Colonel Redl – as a reduced-scale copy of the Matthias Cathedral in Buda, and was equipped with precious objects of art brought from all over Europe. The 1908 edition of Szalon Újság mentions its richness with awe. The walls are covered with marble from Carrara, the altarpieces are Italian Renaissance paintings, and the Byzantine column of red porphyry from Egypt supporting the pulpit was paid for with one year’s full income on the wheat in all the estates of the Baron. These three late Gothic wooden statues were also purchased in Italy.

I still saw them on their place in the church. We were there at the beginning of the 90s, during a survey of historical monuments. The abandoned castle and church standing in the middle of the farmlands were already in bad conditions. The guard came out from the nearby town of Tompa which at the time of the church’s building was only a farmstead. Baron Redl built there the school of his estates where he himself was the teacher in the first school year. The school-farm developed into a village – and lately into a town of five thousand inhabitants – only after the new state border in 1920 was drawn four kilometers below it, cutting the region off its natural center, the city of Szabadka (now Subotica) some fifteen kilometers to the South.

The heir of Baron Redl, Baron Endre Podmaniczky was a great charmer, a sociable man and an excellent card-player, the guard counted to us. In 1920 the French military commission assigned to establish the new border was quartered in his castle. The Baron invited the French officers to play cards. His stake was cash, while that of the French were his estates to be annexed to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (from 1929 Yugoslavia). They played all night along, and the Baron gradually pushed the border more and more southwards. Finally, by the daybreak the castle and the church too came back to Hungary. “Gentlemen, it’s getting late. Let us retire to rest”, proposed then the Baron.

18 comentarios:

Julia dijo...

!!!
¿Cómo definir lo que hiciste aquí?
Una exquisita sinfonía de imágenes.

Studiolum dijo...

Discúlpame que contesto en inglés, mas la pregunta es demasiado buena para que la respuesta no sea leída solo por hispanohablantes :)

If you want me to define this genre, it is a movie in static images about one single object, where every picture is an autonomous view of the object, but together they constitute a richer inner image of it.

Furthermore, the order of the images follows a certain path (from the head to the feet, from premier plan to total view, and also turning around three times the person and the lamb), thus also offering a mnemotechnical sequence to better grasp and remember that composite image of the object.

All these considerations, of course, are the post festam musings of an art historian. While taking the photos and composing the post, I proceeded rather as an artist.

The title was partly suggested by the title of a volume of poems by Dezső Tandori: “Cleaning an object found”.

Julia dijo...

An artist indeed!

La experiencia de ver la secuencia de imágenes me hizo pensar en aquella "suspensión del ánima" de la que tanto se hablaba en el Barroco.
Pensé también en una danza de imágenes.
Absolutamente precioso. Gracias.

(Y no me molesta que respondas en inglés, al contrario, ya que yo no logro expresarme bien en esa lengua comunitaria, es bueno que vos ayudes a la comunicación)

Rima dijo...

A wonderful carving! This is a fascinating blog you keep :)
Best wishes
Rima

Studiolum dijo...

Thank you, Rima. It is an especially great praise from someone with such a wonderful blog of medieval inspirations like your(s)! See you soon, both here and there.

Julia dijo...

Permitime ahora un comentario frívolo y tal vez blasfemo..., pero debo decirlo: desde algunos ángulos el cordero se parece tanto a mi perro!
Lo pensé en cuanto lo vi, aunque después fueron más importantes la impresión que generaba el conjunto de imágenes que creaste. Pero ayer vi una película deliciosa, "Historias mínimas" de Carlos Sorín, en donde entre otras cosas hay una conmovedora historia entre un viejo y su perro, así que me pareció justo reconocer aquí al mío. Traten de ver esa película (se consigue fácil por internet), sucede en la estepa patagónica, con personajes muy queribles. Por momentos es patética, pero al mismo tiempo no; tiene algo esperanzador y cálido y divertido.
Estoy segura de que va a gustarles.

Megkoronáz A.J.P. dijo...

First, I'm very envious of your google maps, i keep meaning to say that I always find them very useful. Second, your movie of still photographs works very well, that's exactly what I thought it was. Third, what interesting and beautifully made pieces they are (although I must admit that in the first, frontal picture of the lamb I wondered what biblical theme it was that featured a parrot). Fourthly, thank you for the Redl & Podmaniczky stories -- could the latter one be true, do you think?

Julia dijo...

Yes!! I also saw a parrot there! Well an eagle, in fact (but that's just because eagles are more "iconological")

Studiolum dijo...

I must repeat that you have very good eyes! I have also found problematic that view of the lamb, and I wanted to comment on it, but then I decided not to break the sequence of the images with a note. The reason of its strange frontal view is that its back (I mean its right side) is not elaborated, just like the back of the main figure, as it is not visible to the viewer. When composing the sequence, I was infinitely sorry that I had not made a picture showing that side as well.

The google map is not ready yet: I’m also linking it retrospectively to the previous posts. By now about a third of it is complete. And while doing so, I’m also discovering how much extra information the precise localization of the objects offer. I myself learn a lot from it, even when doing it on fields well known to me.

As to the story of the Baron, se non è vero, è ben trovato. But I do not regard it absolutely impossible. Other contemporary stories also show that the French officers heading the commissions assigned to establish the post-Versailles borders of the Monarchy were in many cases bohèmes who understood each other well with Hungarian aristocrats and were not really interested in the controversies of unknown, exotic and insignificant Eastern peoples. As they were authorized to elaborate in details the borders that had been only grossly drawn in Versailles, they theoretically had the power to proceed as it is told by the story.

Julia: Yes, the lamb has reminded me of a dog, too (besides of a parrot). This was also something I would have noted if I commented about its profile. But as we know, there is not much difference between the lambs and the dogs of God.

Muchas gracias por la propuesta de la película. Entretiempo la hallé y en breve la miraremos. Estoy muy curioso sea de la misma película que de Patagonia sobre cual leí tan buenos posts.

Julia dijo...

Me parece que salvo una, todas las películas de Sorín son en la Patagonia. Le gusta filmar en las regiones más llanas y áridas, lejos de la cordillera de los Andes que queda al oeste (y que vieron en mis fotos). Espero que les guste, creo que sí...

Megkoronáz A.J.P. dijo...

An eagle or a griffin.

Studiolum dijo...

Yes, that’s it!

Julia dijo...

Eso, AJP! ¡así quedamos todos contentos! (cambiamos un poco la letra del Evangelio, pero es un detalle...)

Megkoronáz dijo...

Yes, but it's better than a parrot.

Julia dijo...

"Yes, but it's better than a parrot."

Pero si Todo hubiera sucedido en el Caribe o en el Amazonas, tal vez un loro no sería extraño... O si Cristo se hubiera encarnado en los Andes, en lugar de con un cordero su primo lo habría simbolizado con una llama...
Sabés, Tamás, que mi intención no es ser irrespetuosa. Pero es que el loro de AJP (no el de Flaubert) me hizo pensar en cuánto me gustan esas transposiciones iconográficas que suelen hacerse, en especial con los pecebres o nacimientos donde María, José y el Niño están vestidos como gauchos, indios (guaraníes, collas, mapuches, etc.) y los acompañan animales autóctonos. (Y ahora sí, a trabajar! Adieu)

Julia dijo...

:-O ¡pesebres, pesebres, pesebres!

Studiolum dijo...

No hallo absolutamente nada de irrespetuoso en el idea. Un Pesebre en pleno verano sí que pide a gritos un loro. Y ¿qué podría preservar la memoria de una Resurrección en las lluvias otoñales si no el Poncho de Turín?

And I’m convinced that if Jesus was born in Persia, John would now keep in the hand the Griffin of God, which is the Simurgh.

Julia dijo...

:-D
Cuando vuelva le saco una foto al último pesebre que compré en Jujuy (provincia del noroeste de Argentina)

Y en cuanto al "poncho". En la NAVIDAD NUESTRA de Ariel Ramírez y Félix Luna, dicen que al niño Jesús los Reyes Magos "Arrope y miel le llevarán / y un poncho grande de alpaca real"

http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=FNRf1HTKIf8&feature=related